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Local News

The NOCBMWCCA has an exciting line-up of events planned at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course this Memorial weekend.

Inaugural Harvey Rogers Memorial Enduro May 24 2013Harv Rogers Enduro 2013

The Chapter is hosting an inaugural enduro to honor past President Harvey Rogers. The event, the first in a new endurance series for BMW CCA Club Racing presented by Turner Motorsports, is scheduled for Friday.

Memorial Day Weekend Club Race May 24-26, 2013

Northern Ohio will host the region's Premier Race during the weekend--meaning 150% points. You don't want to miss out on those extra points that could make or break your championship run.

High-Performance Driving School May 25-26, 2013

Ever wonder what it would be like to drive YOUR BIMMER on a world-class race track? Don't miss your chance to have the experience of a lifetime at the NOC BMWCCA HPDE. Trained instructors ride shotgun teaching you the finer points of controlled high-speed driving.

For complete details or to register for any of these events click to our calendar and choose the event.Mid-Ohio Logo

Registrations are “first come, first served basis”, so sign-up today! All payments must be made through MotorsportsReg (link for each event available in calendar listing).

NOTE: All participants must be at least 18 years of age. All Club Race and Enduro registrants must be at least 18 years of age and possess a valid BMWCCA Club Racing license. All vehicles must pass Tech inspection before being permitted on the track.

Mid Ohio BMWCCA Driving School

Submitted by Brian Nawrocki, NOCBMWCCA president

It's springtime, my favorite time of the year. The sun is out, the weather is warming, trees are budding, and the smell of burning rubber is once again in the air. As we pull our cars from their winter slumbers under car covers in the garage corner, we remember all the things we love about summer: The HPDEs, races, autocrosses, car shows, and club outings that bring us together each and every year.

This spring brings with it new beginnings for the Northern Ohio Chapter too. First you will notice a new face to our chapter website. There is a fresh user-friendly interface which closely resembles and is integrated to the BMWCCA national website. Other features include a proper subpage for our ZBimmers associates. Get busy and mingle with our topless friends! The new "GearShop" is where you can purchase custom embroidered club apparel from any of several designer names. There is an improved calendar of events as well. Get online and check us out. And remember "Like" us on Facebook and stay connected with Facebook alerts.

As usual we opened Mid-Ohio with an HPDE and a Race school. The weather broke in time for us to take to the track with three beautiful, yet chilly, days at that world-class facility. This is an event where, if you cherish a plethora of track time, you don't want to miss out. Sadly, the weather was not optimal leading up to the event which may have scared off some, but not the diehards who, in return for their tracking dedication, were rewarded with some of the best weather of the year up to that date. So, next season don't delay and get on track early.

As soon as we've gotten this first event behind us, planning begins for our biggest event of the year, Memorial Day at Mid-Ohio! We have secured Memorial Day weekend 2013 once again this year. We will be running an HPDE, Club Race, and the Innaugural Harvey Rodgers Enduro Series club race.

Later in June, we have a behind-the-scenes at endangered Zoar tour and a 1-series get-together. More events are being planned for later in summer, so check the website to keep current. I wish all of you a pleasant and safe driving season and hope to meet up with a few of you along the way. Remember to drive carefully and keep' em shiny side up!

Brian

Submitted by Bob Perritt

I was looking forward to a nice sunny, warm day at the track to run #57 after that long winter. Well, if I wanted that, I should have gone on Saturday; that's how things go at the track—not always as you plan.

We started out on slicks for some reason. Perhaps, we thought the radar was wrong, just like the data system in my car--wrong (ha-ha!). So we went out on slicks, and 20 minutes later we were skating around the track. I thought winter was over. I saw parts of the track I haven't seen before; and, this was not grass, but the track!

Being upset about the turn of events with the weather, it turned out to be a wonderful day of driving after all. I put on my G-Force rains and went out for another session. Those rains worked amazingly well after having skated around for a few laps on slicks, but you still needed to be smooth—really smooth. When it's wet—puddle-wet—smooth is king: throttle-smooth, brake-smooth and very much shift-smooth. I didn't think I had that in me: To be that smooth.

You learn to be patient; now, that's funny, but true. You're waiting for the shift, where to lift (Lift? Who wants to lift?), and where to brake. Each lap changes, so you learn what you did and where you did it on the last lap very fast and make corrections. Puddles get larger; then, small streams start to form. Don't turn. Just hold the wheel until you've gone through them. Those areas you now will remember even when it's dry. Chances are you didn't notice the change in the pavement when it was dry driving.

So, rain on the track makes you better in the dry: Smoother, more patient. You should see things on the track better— as long as you are pointed forward. It's a great way to get seat time and to prepare for the day you get caught in a race when it starts to rain. Now don't get me wrong; I would rather drive on a dry track, especially at Nelson. Flat out through Turn #3 doesn't work well in the wet, but it's a blast in the dry, as is Turn #11 at 130mph. Funny thing about Nelson, I never wanted to drive there because of all the stories I had heard about that track. A buddy commented, "Just try it once, and, if you don't like it, don't come back." So I did. Well, I guess you figured it out: If I drive Nelson in the rain, either I'm nuts or it's fun. It's fun, but I am crazy. Aren't we all?
A Fun Day at Nelson is just that fun!

Submitted by Bob Wright

So, you think you want to learn more about how to operate your favorite car and prefer not to be pulled over by Ohio's finest during the process? Well, Boys and Girls, this is why we have driving schools!

Forget about thinking that this is racing or anything to do with racing. That is a whole other chapter for another day. However, I cannot stress enough how important it is for each and every one of you to learn how to properly operate your car.

Don't give me that, "I've been driving without a ticket for years look." I know you can do better. You will be faced with emergency situations in everyday driving in which these exercises could very well save your life--or at least avoid impact and injury.
There is a reason that you rarely hear about race-car drivers getting into accidents on the highway. It's because, at their level of training, the Real World is in slow motion for them. Everything happens so slowly for them compared to events on track, that they essentially can avoid any everyday situation. Wouldn't you like to have a little piece of that confidence in your abilities? Well, I am pleased to tell you, that there are plenty of amazing volunteers just waiting to teach you these skills. And it does not have to cost a lot of money. You are fortunate enough to be in a "Drivin' Chapter" here in Northern Ohio. Many chapters are too small to take the risk of trying to get their members to embrace this amazing hobby. So, be thankful for these people and give them some love back by signing up for one of their events soon. There is room for you too!

Car prep

Many people agonize over what to do to their cars before going to the track for the first time. In reality, if you have a late model BMW, there is not a lot to do at all. You need to ask yourself a few basic questions about your car.How are the brake pads? Are you able to inspect your pads yourself? If not, stop right there. Time to get some professional help! There are some great shops in the area, and people who will not let you down! They can certain sure your brake pads are ready, and that your brake fluid is fresh
(a requirement), and probably can give your car a once over as well, while they have it.

Likewise, you need tires. These need to be high-quality summer tires; typically, look for a tread wear number around 150-250. All-season or winter tires are not acceptable, although there has been some thought about making winter tires legal for early spring events. These tires do not have to be new, but you will have wear over the weekend, so at least half tread would be a minimum. You DO NOT want to show up with competition R-rated tires for your early events. It is important that you learn to "fly" the right way, before you advance to this type of rubber. Again, if you are not certain, talk to your shop or check with our sponsors and advertisers. I am sure they can help you select the correct tires for your car for a weekend of Driving School excitement. If you do have an older "baby," say more than six or so years old, then by all means get it checked out by a competent shop before your first track day. They need to make certain that your basic suspension components are not worn and that the car can be safely operated at speed.

Finally, if all of this sounds like work, and all you want to do is have fun, you can rent track cars for these events.

Hope to see you at the track!

Bob Wright

Rich Loney, Editor NOC BMWCCA Pilot Newsletter

Ryan328iSpring! It's an amazingly beautiful time of year. The foliage is in full bloom, the temps are rising and creatures of all varieties make my backyard resemble a Disney movie. However, having a teenage son who's a senior in high school has enlightened me to the fact that although the rebirth of nature may be magical, it's by no means the most important thing that happens this time of year. Prom, that's where it's at. More specifically, SENIOR PROM. It starts with a "prom-posal", the now standard over-the-top way to invite your date to the dance (search Youtube). Then comes prom photos, prom pre-parties, $1000 prom dresses, prom tuxes, prom after-parties, prom king, prom queen, prom flowers, prom drom, PROM!

Another essential element of prom is the chariot you arrive in. Akron is a town where you might just see LeBron James cruising in his Bentley Continental GT, so heaven forbid you and your prom date be seen motoring about in a rusty old Ford. Being a car guy, this is one aspect of prom I can respect. The marquee from Munich appears to be the sled of choice for prom 2013. My son Ryan lined up his aunt's Sapphire Black e92 BMW 328i convertible months ago. Another buddy has commandeered his dad's classic e36/7 Z3. Having a 2012 e82 135i parked in my garage, I knew it was only a matter of time before one of my son's friends would come calling in an attempt to relieve me of my keys for "the big dance." And so it goes. One Friday, a few weeks back, I arrived home from work to find my two sons and one of their good friends playing basketball in the driveway. I now know this was stage 1 of the set-up.

brianTo protect his identity, we'll just call my son's buddy Brian. After they finished their game Brian rolls into the house, takes a seat at the kitchen table where my wife and I are chatting, and lays his chips on the table. "Mr. Loney, I'd like to ask to borrow your BMW for prom." Not only is the kid a fan of the Bayerische Motorenwerke marquee, but his date asked him to point out that the jet black paint on the 1'er would match her dress perfectly. Great sales pitch! Being that my Bimmer has the M-Sport package with a 6-speed manual it was essential that Brian's skills at rowing through the gears be evaluated. Riding shotgun, I let him drive the car through our neighborhood. His ability to competently operate the clutch and gearbox were solid and he responsibly managed the N55 twin scroll straight six turbo with its 300 horsepower and 300 foot-pounds of torque. Brian passed the driving portion of the test so I've decided that if he promises to drive responsibly the Bimmer can be his for Prom. However, since prom is a school thing, there's one last challenge. Brain must also pass a final written exam that will access the extent of his BMW brand knowledge. If he's smart enough to use the Northern Ohio BMW CCA website as a study guide he may just find all the answers he needs.

Safe Motoring.

By Brian Nawrocki

BrainWAllow me to introduce myself. My name is Brian Nawrocki and as of February 10, 2013, I have the honor of being the third President of the Northern Ohio Chapter BMWCCA. I am a lifelong car guy and enjoy all makes and models, especially rare and unique automobiles. Many of you know me through Club Racing; I hope to see you all at the track again this summer.

I look forward to serving the BMW community in my best capacity. Don't look for things to change too much. We are still going to be hosting exciting HPDE's and Club Races at northern Ohio's premier tracks. There will be beer and wine tours aplenty, special activities such as car shows and destination events and, of course, the same great people at all the events.

In April we are hosting a HPDE and Club Race School at Mid-Ohio. We managed to procure Mid-Ohio again in May for the Memorial Day HPDE and Club Race. We would love to have you and your families out for fun at either event! I would like to begin my tenure by reminding everyone that our board meetings are open to all club members and are held quarterly. Feel free to join us. I would also like to remind all the chapter members of a few of the benefits of our club memberships:

  1. New car and CPO rebates based on membership longevity;
  2. Discounts at BMW parts counters across the nation;
  3. Access to all areas of the growing online community at BMWCCA.org;
  4. Discounts to ///M performance schools;
  5. Discounts and privileges at hotels and destinations across the country.

I hope everybody is as ready as I am for warm weather and the smell of burning rubber. I look forward to leading the club through 2013 and beyond. Feel free to contact me anytime by clicking the CONTACT THE CHAPTER link under CHAPTER INFO on this site.

Shown in photo: Josie Vecchio and Brian Nawrocki

AMPED UP.
Rich Loney, Pilot Editor

Have you seen one yet? Spotting a Tesla Model S in northeast Ohio is a rare occurrence. Yet there one was, a stunning black over black Tesla Model S, sitting in the parking lot at my studio. The Franz von Holzhausen design (who's portfolio includes the Mazda Kabura concept car, the Pontiac Solstice, Saturn Sky, Chevy SS, and the "Concept One" New Beetle) has true presence. I was immediately struck by its physically large mass, something unexpected in an all-electric vehicle. This particular Tesla is owned by Tom Meadows, an entrepreneur friend of mine, who ordered the car four years ago and finally took delivery in December 2012. The one thing which Tom, a former 911 twin-turbo owner, appreciates more then a fine car is high technology. This being the case, he definitely found the perfect car. Tom invited me into the fully-appointed, hand-stitched leather cabin for an in-depth operations tutorial.

There are only two buttons on the entire dashboard; one operates the hazards, and the other pops open the glove box. All other functions are manipulated through a large touch screen interface (about the size of two stacked iPads) in the center of the dash. Everything from three adjustable ride heights to power performance levels can be manually set. There's even a "creep" function, which was a new addition in a recent software update. Tom explained that a Tesla, by its nature, does not accelerate until the activation (gas) pedal is pressed. When stopped at a red light the car simply sits silent and motionless even when lifting your foot off the brake. Owners felt that the driving experience would be improved if, when lifting your foot off the brake, the car would "creep" slowly forward like an internal combustion engine does at idle. The technology in this car is space-shuttle amazing!

After my orientation, Tom asked, "Ready to take it for a drive?" Hell yes! I strapped into the driver's seat and the full-color digital display in front of the steering wheel transitioned into a speedometer (cool). I placed my foot on the brake and looked and began looking for the start button. I looked at Tom who informed me that although the car was completely silent we were "on" and ready to roll. I have to admit, it's a bit unnerving not hearing the rumble and blurb of an engine that cues you into the fact the car is running.

The on ramp to Route 8 North is 50 feet from my parking lot. It has a long ramp that sweeps gently to the left as you merge onto the freeway. The perfect opportunity to punch the accelerator to see what this thing's got. Wow! What the 85-kWh "Performance" optioned Model S has is 416 horsepower and 443 foot pounds of IMMEDIATE torque. And, I mean—immediate! There's no transmission like in a conventional car, so all the power this e-machine has to offer is ready to do your bidding at a moment's notice. It actually doesn't accelerate as much as it thrusts you forward, NASA rocket-launch style. How fast is it? Search YouTube for "Tesla Model V vs BMW M5 drag race". Ezra Dyer of Automobile Magazine pits their "2013 Automobile of the Year" against one of the finest from the Bimmer fleet. The results are surprising.

So, what's my impression of the Tesla Model S? It's truly fascinating! I'm astounded that a vehicle with 75% fewer moving parts then an internal combustion engine can toss out supercar acceleration so effortlessly. Would I trade my BMW 135i for an all-electric vehicle? No. The world may be headed in the direction of the Tesla Lithium-ion highway but I'm not ready to jump aboard just yet. Each morning, before I wrap my hand around the manual shift lever in my 1-er, I roll the driver's window all the way down. I press the start button and hear the sweet, addictive blurb and rumble from the exhaust as the car comes to life and know I'm embarking on yet another ultimate driving experience.

tesla-caption1

 

TeslaModelS

Center mounted control pod. There's only two physical
"buttons" on the dashboard located to the left and right of touchscreen.
 

Tom Meadows and his Tesla Model S

Tesla Model S vs. BMW M5 Drag Race

Ezra Dyer of Automobile Magazine pits the Tesla Model S against the BMW M5 in a drag race during Automobile Magazine's 2013 Automobile of the Year testing.


Submitted by Bob Perritt, NOBMWCCA member

Sebring is one of those tracks you need to race at least once a year. For us northerners in Ohio, racing in Florida in January is an awesome way to "speed" up winter. Sunny and 85° with a fast track and, this year, no rain.

PBOC club is mainly Porsche cars but with my M3 IP car (3.0) we were able to hold our own, especially in the turns. It was also my first experience running with the Roadsters. Those guys do take a little different way around the track. Following them for a couple of laps definitely was helpful on where to setup for a pass.

Starts are always a blast and especially so on this track. There you are three to four wide going into Turn 1. You'll be flat out going through 6 Big Bend all the way to the Hairpin. A lot of spins happened there. Yes, me too! Someone left some oil as I entered the Hairpin (that's my story and I'm sticking with it).

Anyone who has been to Sebring has to love 14, Bishop—a flat-out left-hander—set the wheel and hold. You're set up for the 5-mile straightaway by Turn 16.
Well, it's not really 5 miles, but you do have time to get ready for my favorite turn, 17, Sunset Bend—big right-hand sweeper, really fast—that brings you back to the front straight away.
People have complained about how bumpy this track is.
By my video, it is, but I didn't get motion sickness, so I guess it's okay. You need to use those bumps to your advantage for getting around the track faster, similar to the way around the Nelson Ledges track.